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Fitzroy Partnership for River Health News!

November 2015 edition...

Nathan Johnston, Professor Stuart Bunn and Ian Gordon discuss the results of the 2013-14 Report Card on the banks of the Fitzroy River, Rockhampton. 

Marine results poor for fourth year running

The Great Barrier Reef Report Card relevant to the 2013-2014 reporting period was released in September 2015, with the results for the Fitzroy marine zone again found to be in poor condition.
 
The Fitzroy Partnership 2013-14 Report Card was released in June and did not include marine results, and as such the overall "B grade" for the Basin was awarded.
 
It is likely that the Fitzroy Partnership will continue to release report cards before Great Barrier Reef Report Cards are officially released. Potential options for inclusion of the marine reporting results in Fitzroy Partnership products are currently being explored to resolve this issue into the future.

The Great Barrier Reef Report Card showed poor and very poor results for the marine indicators, following multiple disturbances over a number of years.  To review the results go to the Reefplan website

Strategic directions on agenda for FPRH

After almost four years in operation, the Fitzroy Partnership for River Health membership will gather together in Rockhampton on Thursday 3 December 2015 to discuss the future direction of the partnership.

The group have succeeded in providing a more complete picture on river health for the Fitzroy by developing annual aquatic ecosystem health report cards. These reports have been expanded in more recent years to include drinking water and agricultural water uses.

Key items on the agenda include reviewing the successes and shortcomings of the last four years, exploring the future options available given the current external environment and beginning to prioritise the available options.  It is anticipated the workshop will lead to development of a strategic plan that will set the direction for the upcoming five years. To ensure your views are incorporated we urge interested stakeholders to complete our FPRH Stakeholder Survey by Friday 20 November 2015. 

Taking our temperature - partnership survey

In the lead-up to the Strategic Planning Day, the Partnership is seeking the input of stakeholders to assist discussion and agreement on the Partnership's future directions. 

Questions include stakeholders' use of the Partnership information and products; value for Partners, awareness of the Partnership's work; reasons for being a member (or not) in the Partnership and what the Partnership could do to improve its work.  The survey will only take a few minutes so we encourage readers to complete it now via the following link - FPRH Stakeholder Survey.

River health roadshow wrap-up

The first River Health Roadshow to promote the release of the 2013-14 Report Card covered six Central Queensland towns from July to October 2015 with good attendance and a greater awareness of the work of the Partnership. 

Executive Officer Nathan Johnston said the Roadshow, organised at the request of the management committee, visited locations around Rockhampton, Injune, Theodore, Emerald, Tieri and Moranbah and covered a wide range of water management initiatives.  

At these events, water management projects being implemented by partners were covered along with a wide range of information on report results for ecosystems, drinking water and agriculture.  

"We thank those Partners who assisted with organisation of these events and trust that awareness of the Partnership, our products and our efforts have been increased a hundred fold by taking our message around Central Queensland," Mr Johnston said.  

The events included the Santos GLNG Fairview Irrigation Project Tour at Injune; a cotton irrigation farm tour with Cotton Australia at "Mahmal" Theodore; Rockhampton River Festival; the East Nogoa Water Treatment Plant Tour with Central Highlands Regional Council in Emerald; Glencore's Oaky Creek Mine visit in Tieri; and a Water Initiatives in Mining Forum with BMA, Anglo American and Peabody in Moranbah, also including a Grosvenor Creek education activity.

Interest grows for Care for Creeks Bursary

In a heartening show of support for the environment, the Fitzroy Partnership for River Health has seen its largest number of entrants ever received in its annual Care for Creeks Bursary, assisting youth and community members care and learn about the health of our locals rivers and creeks. 

Executive Officer Nathan Johnston said it was an exciting position to be in, as he announced four winners from a diverse range of backgrounds and locations for the bursary. 

The four winners include the Central Highlands Cotton Growers and Irrigators Association/Central Highlands Science Centre group partnership (pictured above); Marlborough State School; Wowan/Dululu Landcare Group and the Gundoo Junior Ranger in Rockhampton.  Read more here. 

What is the value of Fitzroy Partnership? 

Matthew Eyles, CQG Consulting Environmental Scientist (kneeling) with DCCA's Charisse Anderson and Origin Energy's Lachlan McQuire at the River Health Roadshow at the Santos GLNG Fairview Irrigation Project near Injune in July.
We've asked one of our Foundation Partners - CQG Consulting - to answer a number of questions as to why they are involved in the Partnership and the value they believe it provides to their organisation.  We will spotlight other Partners in future to gain a broader understanding of the needs of organisations surrounding waterway health in the Fitzroy Basin. 

Why is your organisation involved in FPRH?
CQG Consulting (CQG) was one of the founding members of the Partnership as we saw the benefits in supporting the formation of a body that would collate water quality data and ecosystem health information for our region. As one of regional Queensland’s leading environmental consultancies it is important to us that we have access to data and the opportunity to network with other scientists. 

What value does the FPRH provide to your Organisation?
With the support of our clients the Partnership provides CQG with a central organisation to which data can be shared securely for the benefit of the wider CQ community. Now reporting on drinking water and agricultural use the report cards generated by the Partnership have proven to be of great benefit to CQG and our clients.   Click here for more. 

Thumbs up to Mindi the Barramundi

It's been a busy six months for the Partnership's new community engagement initiative - Mindi the Barramundi - with visits at a range of community events to increase the awareness of the products and work of the Fitzroy Partnership for River Health in the community.  

Launched at the Rockhampton River Festival in July, Mindi was also featured at the Dawson River Festival in Theodore and the recent Twilight Creek to Reef activities in Rockhampton.  Supported by Partnership staff, Mindi is used to hand out the latest Report Cards and discuss waterway issues with interested community members, as well as engage children in a fun and exciting way.  If Partners have upcoming events they believe would benefit from the involvement of Mindi the Barramundi please contact nathan.johnston@riverhealth.org.au to discuss.  

Virtual Basin - program design simplified

By now you are aware that every year we pull together water quality and ecosystem health information to inform our report card and help determine grades for the waterways across the Fitzroy.
 
But have you seen our basin virtual tour? A conceptual diagram of the Fitzroy Basin has been prepared along with icons that explain some of the major processes at play in the Fitzroy.
 
The virtual tour helps to explain in simple terms the major components of the methodology we have adopted for our monitoring and reporting program design.  Take the tour today - http://riverhealth.org.au/tour/

Diving deeper into the river health website

The Partnership website incorporates new user-friendly information, to better showcase the groups’ increasingly comprehensive range of waterway reports, products, tools and data. Some of the fresher material includes:
  • A new Agricultural Use Report grading water quality for stock and cropping use
  • Maps detailing data abundance and gaps for each reporting year 
  • The MyData portal, enabling data providers in-depth assessment of their data
  • The MyWater portal enabling the community to store, share and visualize their waterway data, particularly for Care for Creeks Bursary winners.
CHRISTMAS CLOSURE:
The Fitzroy Partnership for River Health will close for two weeks from Monday 22 December 2015 and reopen on Monday 4 January 2016. We wish all our valued partners and stakeholders a safe and happy Christmas and a renewed and positive New Year. 
If you would like more information about joining the partnership please contact:

Nathan Johnston - Executive Officer
P: 07 4999 2821 | M: 0400 221 055 | E: nathan.johnston@riverhealth.org.au
 
If you have a more general comment or request, please contact:
 
Luke Ukkola - Science Integration Coordinator
P: 07 4999 2819 | E: luke.ukkola@riverhealth.org.au

Address:
Fitzroy Partnership for River Health
Level 1, 80 East Street
PO Box 139 Rockhampton, QLD 4700
 
FBA is the current host organisation of the Fitzroy Partnership for River Health.

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